Thursday, March 03, 2005

Chicago police "beat" meetings

A recent fax taped to the front door of Dollop Coffeehouse here in Chicago reminded me of something cool about this city: the Chicago police actually assign small teams to work "beats" (four-block areas of the city on a daily basis, so that locals can get to know them as individuals), and that this beat number is actually published for the public (mine is 2322, for example), so that they can follow along on the internet and at local meetings about the latest. The city actually provides a nice page of online community resources available for residents, including a list of senior centers, payment centers, food banks, and meeting times for the Mayors Bureau, a special wing of city representatives that just go out to local neighborhoods and listen to what locals have to bitch about. (Be forewarned, you have to register with the site for free in order to access them.) Yet another great thing about this city where I live.